Estepona, the Garden of Andalucía
| 17th Dec
Estepona has long been overshadowed by its more famous neighbours of Puerto Banús and Marbella. However in the past few years the town has been reinventing itself and, like a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis, is demonstrating that careful urban planning and a little imagination can transform town centres from the mundane to verdant and perfumed.
The ‘Garden of the Costa del Sol’ project was initiated six years ago and now the spectacular results are literally blooming! Estepona has been a favourite of visitors and residents alike who warm to the fact that it has retained the charm and character of a working Andalusian Spanish town, yet is also welcoming with an infrastructure to cope with summer visitors who more than triple resident numbers. The high-rise development that blights other regions has not been allowed to take place here, meaning the beautiful Sierra Bermeja Mountains combine to provide a stunning backdrop.
As part of the ushering in of this new project, more than 14 kilometres of streets have been renovated, with the pedestrianisation of the town’s main thoroughfare being a crucial component of the planned town centre regeneration. Many a project has already been carried out to the delight of visitors, such as the Poetry Route, where poems by both Spanish and international poets are displayed on walls around the town. Similarly, the Mural Route, where wonderful outsize artworks are painted onto blank walls.
Fun and commendable though these projects are, it is the sheer quantity of trees, shrubs and ground cover that strikes visitors most when considering Estepona as a place to live or visit. Along with the street regeneration where almost 13,500 pottery plant holders were scattered on walls throughout the Old Town, with each street choosing their own pot colour. This creates a stunning, striking display which serves to enhance the Andalusian character of the town and it is kept constantly fresh with regular changes to the flowering plants, which come from the town’s own municipal gardens. The flowers are not just confined to plant pots, however. The ratio of green spaces to inhabitants in Estepona is almost double the national level, having increased by 22,5% to 619,337m2 in the past six years.
Estepona was always a great place to visit and feel a part of the ‘real Spain’ that most want to experience. Now following the great efforts of the local council, it’s an even prettier place to live, work and visit!
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